Anwar explains why PKR didn't join PN

·3-min read
Anwar explains why PKR didn't join PN
Anwar explains why PKR didn't join PN

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim stressed that he will not join the "circle of traitors" even if he was offered a position in the federal government.

During a dialogue hosted by the National Professors Council in Kajang today, Anwar was asked why he didn't work together with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

In his answer, the Port Dickson MP emphasised political ethics.

"In politics, we have ethics (but) the traitors abandoned their respective parties to form a government.

"In terms of ethics, we must think, do we want to work hand-in-glove with traitors?" he asked.

In the Sheraton Move in February last year, former PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali and a group of parliamentarians left the party.

Together with the Muhyiddin-led Bersatu, which earlier exited Pakatan Harapan, they were joined by then-opposition parties Umno and PAS to form the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government.

Bersatu's exit from Harapan led to the collapse of the coalition's 22-month-old government. Harapan's hope to see the premiership baton passed from Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar never materialised.

Anwar said although the government was formed by traitors, he told Muhyiddin that as opposition leader, he would support the PN government if it helped the people and stopped corruption and power abuse.

"But that didn't happen," he said.

Anwar also took a jab at PN coalition member PAS and likened it to a party that followed the wind.

"PAS follows whoever is the winner. During (former prime minister) Najib (Abdul Razak)'s era, it supported Najib.

"During Tun (Mahathir)'s era, it followed Tun," he said.

No need for party-hopping

In recent months, Anwar claimed he had the numbers to form the government. Speculations were rife that he was in talks with Zahid for PKR and Umno to combine forces.

Subsequently, Anwar said the discussion was still in its infancy.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

When asked if he, too, was looking to form a government backed by defectors by claiming he has the numbers, Anwar immediately brushed off the question and pointed to the original mandate given by the people during the previous election.

"Not true. We didn't talk about party-hopping. First of all, to whom the mandate was given? It was to Harapan.

"What's the promise in the election? Mahathir (holds the power) temporarily, then gives it to Anwar.

"Not to say one must defect or jump ship, just follow the decision.

"Whether we accept defection or not? My answer is no. No need for party-hopping," he said.

As a former Umno leader, Anwar was also asked about the split within Umno.

While the question did not specify it, it has become public knowledge that some leaders within want Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to resign.

"In Umno, in my view, the party must have discipline and internal cooperation [...] not only to defend oneself for positions," he said.

The relationship between Zahid and former BN secretary-general Annuar Musa turned sour after the latter openly accused Zahid of conspiring with Anwar behind Umno grassroots' back.